Art Journaling – Inverse Silhouettes (2)

We had fun last night with inverse silhouettes at my Art Journaling Session here at The Studio. There was a little bit of apprehension at painting over a perfectly good background, and then ooohs and ahhhs as the colours started to zing against the black. Here’s another  of my examples from last night:




I think the background is Distress Paint using the spritz and splat method on a non-stick craft sheet. The white is brushed acrylic ink, with Signo broad white pigment pen over the top, and the yellow centres and daisy shadows are Sharpies. I’ve also added a bit of shading at the top of the circles to suggest a drop shadow under the black layer with a water-soluble black pencil smudged out with a water brush.

I was also reminded of several other pieces I did back in 2013 using a similar technique – the post is here.

Continue reading

Art Journaling – Inverse Silhouettes

Those of you who happen to lead projects or workshops, or lessons, or sermons, may have the same reaction as me to the question ‘what are we doing next time?’. There’s the moment of panic – ‘I’ve not even thought about it'; then there’s the moment of ‘shall I make something up?’. Then there’s the next thought: ‘I really must get a lesson plan together’. All of which then gets summarised into the quintessential reply: ‘It’s a surprise.’

So it was at the end of my last art journaling session a month ago. Since then, a little planning has happened, and I’ve come up with the project for Monday’s session: inverse silhouettes. Here’s a couple of examples I’ve done this week:

IMG_5786_w IMG_5787_w


And it’s perhaps no surprise to learn that I’ll probably have the same answer at the end of that session…

Continue reading

‘1704’ – Quilt No. 13

Quilt No 013Notwithstanding a minor burn injury caused by not having my arm far enough away from the iron whilst folding the binding for this quilt, I’ve finished my sampler quilt for the workshop I am running at Quorn Country Crafts in Loughborough on 17th April. As you can see, it’s a nine 10×10″ panel quilt-as-you-go with contrast joining strips featuring continuous line free motion quilt patterns that I have adapted from my tangle patterns.

Continue reading

Mixed Media Sketchbook Cover

IMG_5784_wIn between various quilting tasks and undercoating MDF clock bases, I’ve also been working on this mixed media sketchbook cover makeover, in the Finnabair style. I haven’t been to any of Anna’s classes, but did get to see her demo’ing her new media range, courtesy of Prima, at the Notions stand at the trade show last week.

The sketchbook is hard cover, and I made the mistake of forgetting to put the texture paste down before sticking the ephemera in place (but I think I got away with it). A gesso layer melds everything together and stiffens paper flowers. There’s metal trinkets, moulded paper clay, buttons, beads and bingo tokens as well as chipboard inches. Colour initially started in pinks and purples, but as the piece developed, the pinks receded and blues came in. Products include Inka Gold, Cosmic Shimmer Matt Chalk Acrylics, Liquid Pearls, Viva Decor Pearl & Paper Pens, Dreamweaver Embossing Paste and various stencils.

Oh and I used my new Bosch Glue Pen as well to stick things down with (thank you Kathryn & David!).

Continue reading

Autumn Lily Layer Cake Quilt

IMG_5766_wI finished a mammoth quilt last week, the first I have designed using a Layer Cake – Blackbird Designs ‘Autumn Lily’ by Moda. For the uninitiated, layer cakes are usually forty two 10×10″ pre-cut squares of fabric from a coordinating collection. I augmented this with a lot of calico to make a relatively inexpensive throw for the bed – it reaches over the sides, but only goes 2/3rds of the way up the bed by design (and by the fact that I would have needed more patterned fabric!). Each block in the above photo is just under 10″ square for a sense of scale, and the finished quilt size is 110″x67″ (roughly 3m by 1.5m). Each square has been quilted, and the repeating motif is my own continuous line quilting design.

I spent yesterday afternoon having my first play with Electric Quilt 7 – a quilting software package that I purchased last week to aid in production of quilt patterns, as well as designing my own quilts. As all the reviews I looked at have said, there’s a steep learning curve, but the help screens and tutorial videos do help you get to grips with what is actually an unintuitive interface (at least at first). It does have the benefit of being able to import photos of the fabric swatches, and Moda are kind enough to provide these as a download via their website.

All of which leads me to mention I spent this morning writing a pattern for the quilt, for those that are interested in downloading it!

[Please note: for those resident in EU countries other than UK, please request the pattern by email so I can manually forward you a copy as an attachment. This is to comply with the recent changes regarding VAT.]

Continue reading

Bespoke Wedding Invitations (Part 1)

The hardest thing about keeping my blog up to date with my crafty exploits is that some of my work has to be kept under wraps until the special reveal. So there may be times when I seem to be quiet – but in fact working frantically to meet deadlines!

Today’s post is one of those. A good friend asked me to make her wedding invitations – and now they’ve been sent and received, I won’t be spoiling any surprises :)


Both Jess and Stuart are real ale aficionados, and we’ve spent hours together working our way through the bar at the Peterborough Beer Festival. What more fitting then than a personal hand pull badge? I drew the hand pull from reference photographs, and then scanned it and coloured it in Illustrator. The badge was designed in a combination of Photoshop and Illustrator. After creating print proofs, cut lines were created in Illustrator and sent to Silhouette Cameo using their Connect plug-in. It was then a matter of assembling the parts using 1mm deep foam pads to add some dimension (and allow avoidance of large letter postage).

By my reckoning, one can measure how successful a job has gone by whether more work is commissioned as a result. Happily, the couple are so delighted, I’ve been asked to adapt the design for the reception table labels.

Congratulations to the happy couple, all the best for the day, and here’s to another reunion at Peterborough in August :)

Continue reading